Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Happy Christmas From Me To You!

Good Morning Everyone,

I couldn’t let today pass without wishing you all a Happy Christmas – even if you don’t celebrate this religious Christian festival.

I am spending this morning cooking a fabulous Christmas lunch for my family – hubby, kids, my parents and my brother and his girlfriend. We will gather in the sitting room, fully fed and open our gifts.

Later this afternoon, hubby, the kids and I will be spoilt rotten at the in-laws house all evening with more amazing food and a mountain of thoughtful gifts.

Whatever you are doing today, I hope that you are able to embrace the joy, hope and love of this festive season with those you love and who love you.

 

These fabulous free graphic are from glitter-graphics.com and have been used here

 


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Beautiful Handmade Gifts By UK Artisans.

Good morning and welcome to another weekend!

Christmas is creeping ever closer, so I’ve been browsing around Amazon again this week, trying to find that perfect gift. I recently found Amazon’s Handmade department – have you had a look at some of the items for sale? There’s some great stuff being made by very talented people.

This weekend, I thought I’d share some aroma based gifts, to sweeten the mind as well as the home.

Up To £50

If you’re looking for bespoke handmade products, then Knots & Grain based in London source the highest quality of materials and take pride in finishing each item with attention to detail. Every item in their inventory is fully customizable and they will work with you to achieve your desired outcome. I loved this Sapele and Glass Double Tealight Candle Holder.

Handmade Sapele and Glass double tea light Candle with shadow gap. Hand oiled and waxed to help protect and preserve the wood.

Customizable up to 10 candles in one piece, cost increases as per number of candles.

Candle comes with product as standard.

The size of the Candle is approx. H. 95mm x W. 95mm x D. 45mm Approx.

Up To £40

This is designed exclusively by Essex based Queen of the Nile who make natural chemical free incense, perfumes and beauty products. This oil burner set is created with high quality natural ingredients as an alternative to incense sticks and synthetic fragrances which contain harmful petrochemicals and is a smokeless incense designed specifically for oil burners. It is re-usable and long-lasting.

Oil Burner Gift Set ~ relax, de-stress, natural sleep aid with 100% pure natural essential oils.

SOAPSTONE OIL BURNER H 12.5CM X 9.5CM.

5ML “SHUSH”OIL and 60G SHUSH GRANULES.

SHUSH BLEND ~ the perfect mix of frankincense, lavender and geranium essential oils to help melt away stress and tension, all natural chemical free.

APPROX 11 USES (1 teaspoon initially lasts up to 4 hours, which may be extended for up to 30 hours (or more) with the additional application of essential oils).

Plus 1 tea-light that burns for 10 hours – so you do not need to rush out and buy one.

Up To £30

Gin & Tonic seems to be the IN drink of the moment. I’m more of a rum girl but one of my girlfriends is a fanatical gin lover. I love the look of this set by Fizzy Fuzzy and hope she loves the smell. Fizzy Fuzzy are creators of handmade soap, bath bombs and soy wax candles based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.

Handmade by Fizzy Fuzzy, a perfect pampering gift for Gin lovers everywhere…it’s definitely Gin o’clock!

Made with the classic Gin & Tonic fragrances of Juniper Berries and a splash of lime, this is a mouth watering and luxurious set.

 

Up To £20

Imogens Luxuries are based in Hertfordshire and make handmade Luxury Scents for the Home. Although they use the highest quality of ingredients, there wasn’t anything in their store that cost more than £20. I have chosen their delicious Christmas candle which is a soy wax scented with Orange, Cinnamon, Clove & Ginger essential oils.

• ‘Christmas’ aromatherapy scented candle is handmade with 120g of natural Soy wax and fragranced with Orange, Cinnamon, Clove & Ginger essential oils.

• Scented with therapeutic grade essential oils blended to enhance well being. Our Christmas blend is ideal to create a welcoming and festive atmosphere during the cold dark winter.

• Sweet Orange combines with delicious spices of Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger to give a blend reminiscent of mulled wine bubbling away on the stove, a festive aroma which is wonderfully warming and uplifting.

• Pure Soy Wax and essential oils are combined to give a completely natural scented candle. Free from Palm wax and petrochemicals e.g. Paraffin / Mineral wax ( which are from the petrol industry!)

• Benefits of Soy Wax: Natural, Renewable, Sustainable & Biodegradable.

• Burn time up to 30 hours.

• Your Christmas Candle will arrive in a beautiful gift box, completed with a hand tied bow and is a perfect Christmas Gift, Teacher Gift, Dinner party gift, Hostess Gift.

Free Standard UK Delivery on All Orders over £20

Under £20

This little keyring made by The Ashmole Group Lava Beads is actually a super frugal bargain, coming in at well under £10. This pretty gift allows you to carry your essential oils wherever you go because Lava Stones are porous and so will soak up the essential oils, diffusing throughout the day.

Our pretty handmade essential oil diffuser keyring.

Featuring a large round blue Lava Stone, pink rose quartz stone and a sparkly crystal bead, finished with a butterfly charm.

This Keyring is handmade at time of ordering.

May help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Please email me if you would like to customise this product. Directions: Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the lava stone.

I hope you’ve like this post. I’ve certainly loved sharing these handmade things with you, perhaps I’ll do this on a regular basis.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this post and the things I’ve included today.


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My Weekend Finds – Handmade Gifts From UK Artisans.

Good morning and welcome to the weekend!

I’ve been having a browse around Amazon this week. Did you know that they have a whole department specifically for Handmade items? It’s true, look for yourself here.

I’ve found some amazing things in various price ranges that I wanted to share with you.

Up to £50

I love this gorgeous wooden wall coat & hat rack with shelf and cast iron hooks by Sharp Saw Studio. I think it’s the perfect addition to any hallway, entrance hall or foyer. Don’t you?

Handmade in our UK based workshop from chunky timber, finished lovingly by hand in 3 coats of Tudor Oak wax to give a great rustic aged finish.

The hooks are a Victorian style in cast iron to complete the look.

***PLEASE NOTE*** Please understand that your order WILL very likely differ slightly from the items that you see in our photographs, and colours may vary under different lighting, and wood grain and knots will differ.

Up to £40

I found this beautiful lightweight silk scarf by Nikki Moksha Designs that is hand painted in vibrant turquoise and plum silk paint, it’s the perfect accessory that will make you feel effortlessly beautiful and elegant. I think that this is THE gift for any chic woman who adores fashion and deserves to be spoilt.

The scarf is made with high quality silk and each individually hand painted with professional silk paint. It is light and cool enough to wear in the summer as a neck scarf or head scarf, an attractive accessory with any outfit.

FEATURES: Size 45cm x 180cm 100% silk Hand painted Hand rolled and stitched edges ‘Ponge 5’ light weight silk Wash in warm water by hand, do not tumble dry, iron on cool silk setting.

 

Up To £30

I found these hilarious and unique double dog lead holder/hooks with personalised name plaques that are handmade from reclaimed wood and welsh slate by Reclaimed in Wood in DORCHESTER, United Kingdom. We haven’t got pets (Hubby is highly allergic) but I’m sure my parents or sister-in-law would love this!

The doggie tail Hooks are cast iron and the wooden holder has two separate slate plaques to personalise with your dog’s name or we can do it for you at no extra cost, simply EMAIL US WITH YOUR REQUEST WHEN ORDERING.

This fun, yet stylish and unique item is a must have for any dog lover! The perfect Christmas or birthday gift! Practical yet beautiful. Looks stunning in any home with a choice of finishes to match your home! Our standards are extremely high and nothing will be sent if we are not totally happy with the standard.

Up To £20

I wish I had the skill and patience to make beautiful flowers like Oxfordshire based Alana Phoenix & Co who makes bespoke gifts ideal for the home or a wedding gift.

Each petal is hand cut and shaped design.

Each stem is approx. 30cm in length and each flower head is approx. 9cm in diameter.

This listing is for one paper rose made from random map paper with green stem and leaves. This item is ready to post within 1-2 business days.

Also available made from comic book, book page, vintage music sheet and plain colours – please see my store.

Less Than £10

I love putting up bunting; it’s an easy way to decorate the home, either for a special occasion, to mark a particular holiday or just to change the seasonal feel of your home. I’ve got some going up my stairs in the hall and hanging on the top of my dresser in the living room.

Bonkers For Bunting make handmade bunting and cushion covers and are based in Plymouth, United Kingdom.

Bunting Length:170 centimetres

Material: Cotton. Cath Kidston fabrics.

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve like this post. I’ve certainly loved sharing these handmade things with you, perhaps I’ll do this on a regular basis. As usual, feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this post and the things I’ve included today.


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Gift Inspiration From A Fellow Blogger

Hello Lovely Followers,

 

Gift inspiration for the book lover in your life

Are you looking for a gift for the book lover in your life but you don’t want to buy a book in case they’ve already read it? Maybe you’re fed up of giving a voucher and want to buy something more exciting?  Whether you’re looking for a quirky gift, a stocking filler, secret santa gift or something more expensive, there’s plenty of inspiration around for book lovers … if you have the time to search.

I’ve taken some of stress out of searching for you.  From items you can wear to notebooks and pens, here’s what I’ve found to inspire you this season.

*Some of the links below are affiliate links which means that if you purchase something, the cost remains the same for you but Jera’s Jamboree receives a very small commission which goes towards future giveaways.*

book loverGathered together in one place, there’s plenty of inspiration on Etsy’s Book Club Christmas Gift Guide.

book loverWith all the visuals it’s easy to scan as you scroll and you don’t have to read the text.  Lots of unique and one-off items and there’s a range of prices.

book loverPersonalised bookmarks, gorgeous fabric book covers, jewellery and scarves – so much choice!  You’ll be supporting independent creatives too.

book loverLooking for something eco-friendly?  Emerald and Lime stationery is original and inspiring and supports the environment.

Notebooks, writing paper and fiction prints are reasonably priced and you get the best customer service from owner Elle Turner.

For the history buff, look no further than English Heritage.  Not only publishing fascinating and authoritative books for adults you’ll also find great history books for children of all ages.  Scroll through the 25 pages and you might be surprised at the range available.

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book loverPin this image on Pinterest

book lover

Personalise with Paperchase

There was a mixed bag of responses in my stationery feature as to how people felt about personalised stationery.  book loverBottom line, ensure your spellings are correct and you’re onto a winner.  Think of a planner and you’ll find it at Paperchase – life book loverplanners, weekly planners, garden planners, food planners – as well as journals, notebooks, scrapbooks and address books to personalise.  On the whole, book lovers seem to love stationery and personalising just adds that little bit extra.

book loverI couldn’t leave off pens either 🙂 Paperchase have some awesome premium pens with top brands such as Parker, Cross, Kaweco and my favourite, Lamy.

Roller balls, ball point, fountain pens and a luxury range … heaven!

book lover

 

book lover

You’ll find an awesome range of tote bags for book lovers at Foyles.

Alice in Wonderland, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pride and Prejudice, Penguin classics as well as landscapes and abstract designs.  Harry Potter fans will love the range of goodies available too!

book lover

book loverDoes your recipient enjoy reading and relaxing while they’re in the bath?  book lover

Treat your book lover to something different from the range of goodies available at Prezzybox.

You’ll find the usual bath melts as well as Prosecco bathing gel, real ale bathing gel and toast and jam body wash.

 

book loverFinally, is your book lover a tea drinker?  Twinings Christmas Gift Bags could hit the spot.

You’ll find popular teas as well as teas to experiment with.  book loverWith 16 different gift bags of fabulous goodies to choose from there’s something to suit most tastes.  Reasonable prices ranging from £10 to £16.

Is there a book related gift you’ve received that you treasure?


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Spending my gift vouchers

Hello lovely followers,

Last month I was lucky enough to get Amazon vouchers, not only for Christmas but for my birthday too. My family and friends know me so well! 🙂

As you can see from my “So, What’s on my Kindle” page , I have read and absolutely loved standalone stories as well as book series from a number of different authors. Both Amazon and Goodreads e-mail me when authors that I’ve read before release new titles (very kind of them) so I know that a couple of my authors released books in December and so guess what I spent some of my vouchers on… lol!

a-stone-kissed-sea-by-elizabeth-hunterA Stone-Kissed Sea (Elemental World #4)

by Elizabeth Hunter (Goodreads Author)
Released 6th December 2016

An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood.

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.

Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.

When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.

one-fell-sweep-by-ilona-andrewsOne Fell Sweep

(Innkeeper Chronicles #3)

by Ilona Andrews (Goodreads Author)
Released on 20th December 2016

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

Source: Goodreads | New Releases for *Tabytha* December 2016 (my authors)

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111Both of these books continue series and it was quite a while ago that I read the previous book,s so I think I will have a bit of skim reading to do so that I can refresh my memory with the various characters/plot etc.

We live in an interact world, so you can check out my progress on by clicking on my profile at Goodreads.


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The Twelve Days of Christmas at Mottisfont | Dear Mummy Blog

Hello lovely followers,

As you can see from the side, I follow quite a few blogs here on WordPress and I was delighted to see this post about Mottisfont appear in my inbox.

My best friend lives about a half an hour away from Romsey hearing towards Eastleigh and Mottisfont is only a 30 minute drive for us coming from Salisbury, so we use this magical National Trust property to meet up as often as we can during the school holidays.

There is always a trail for the children to follow through the grounds and the house quite often has wonderful exhibitions housed in some of it’s rooms.

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111For one reason or another, I have been taking my daughters to Mottisfont for years – we love it!

The 12 Days of Christmas event at Mottisfont is running until Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Check their website for further details before travelling National Trust – Christmas at Mottisfont 2016

 


 

Dear Mummy, we’re big fans of the National Trust, having been annual members now for four years. Mottisfont, near Romsey in Hampshire, is one of our favourite places to visit in the UK and every year they host wonderful Christmas events. Mottisfont is an 18th-century home with a medieval priory owned by The National Trust and we’ve had many adventures here. Two years ago we saw their beautiful installation of The Nutcracker on their estate and we love visiting when the roses are at full bloom. We’ve visited in all seasons but nothing beats walking around Mottisfont on a crisp winter day.

This year the Twelve Days of Christmas came alive at Mottisfont. We discovered decorated rooms and gardens inspired by the classic song, from the glittery dresses of ‘nine ladies dancing’ to beautiful bird decorations. Creative volunteers have crafted hundreds of hand-made decorations for the Twelve Days of Christmas at Mottisfont and the displays are wonderful.

We followed a new activity trail which guided us through all the song’s famous verses and started by picking up our own ‘songbook’ at visitor reception to commence the trail. It’s packed with activities to do as we followed all the song’s verses. We ticked off the displays as we found them and it was great exercise walking around in the fresh December air.

We spotted lots of themed decorations around the grounds, including seven swans swimming in the stream and had fun making our own ‘Lords a-leaping’ craft paper puppets in the craft zone. It was a beautifully decorated room with lots of colouring sheets and crayons for little folk like me to use.

We were amazed by how much attention to detail was put into the displays by local artists and volunteers. The estate looked wonderful, even in the winter we enjoyed walking around in the winter garden and the walled garden.

We found four calling birds in the winding winter garden along with five gold rings. Three decorated hens were made by Mandy Flynn, the artist behind the much-loved wire horse in Mottisfont’s stable block and that display looked fabulous against the bright blue frosty sky and the house in the background.

We enjoyed warming up inside the house after following the trail outside and there was lots of festive sparkle inside, as Mottisfont was getting ready for a Twelve Days of Christmas party. Mottisfont’s last owner, Maud Russell, held many lively parties at Mottisfont so we peeked inside to see the house grandly decorated and transported back in time.

The dining room was laid out for a festive feast. We found an elaborate cake decorated with the Twelve Days of Christmas in an impressively ornate room, while the grand ballroom hosted a cocktail party with a magnificent traditional Christmas tree which was as tall as our house (well, nearly). It was such a festive atmosphere with lovely flower arrangements, twinkly lights and party placements laid out.

We used the picture frames and costumes to dress up in one of the rooms and had fun striking a photo pose in this grand house. We found a dressing room laid out for a Christmas party guest, and joined in the preparations by dressing up ourselves.

My mummy was really impressed with the attention to detail on the miniature sparkling dresses of nine ladies dancing created by Vin Turnham. The tiny dresses rotated on little plinths and I was mesmerised by them.

These nine ladies dancing took centre stage in the Whistler Room. These exquisite miniature ballet dresses twinkled in warm festive light. From the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Queen of the Night, each dress represented a dance costume in miniature, made in quarter-scale. Delicate crystals and sequins sparkle as they caught the light, above perfectly formed tulle tutus.

Mottisfont is the perfect place for a family visit all year round, with plenty of space to run, jump and play and The Twelve Days of Christmas runs until 3 January 2016. Suggested donation £1 per trail. We loved the beautiful creations in the grounds and it makes a great day out to burn off energy and those mince pies!

Love Bella x

Want to read more about Mottisfont, National Trust? Read our other Mottisfont posts here!

Source: The Twelve Days of Christmas at Mottisfont | Dear Mummy Blog


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Tis The Party Season – Cheers!

Hello Lovely Followers,

As we approach that time where my social diary begins to look a lot less bereft, I’m starting to worry that all my hard work will be for nothing. I’m still trying to weigh less and feel fitter but I do love a good party… or meal …. or evening at the pub!

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111I found this interesting article about booze on the My Fitness Pal blog, I might work my way through the 11 suggestions to find my favourite. 😉

I wonder what other gems I can find…

 


In one of the more unfair laws of the universe, alcohol isn’t exactly a health elixir. Liberator of deep, dark secrets, yes. “You have dance moves like Beyoncé and need to share them with the world” cheerleader, sure. But whether you’re trying to lose weight or generally live a healthy life, a frequent drinking habit doesn’t usually fit in the picture.

Luckily, that doesn’t mean you’ve got to give it up for good—indulging is a necessary part of maintaining a good outlook on food (and your sanity). Here, 11 registered dietitians, aka those healthy-living paragons who know how to eat well even when getting Chinese takeout and fast food, share the alcoholic drinks they choose when it’s time to unwind.

1. A vodka seltzer with lemon or lime
“There’s a common misconception that tonic water is the same as seltzer water, but it actually contains a lot of calories and sugar. I opt for seltzer, which is just water with bubbles, instead. A squeeze of either lemon or lime gives the drink a healthy (and sugar-free) boost of flavor!” —Rebecca Ditkoff, R.D., CUNY School of Public Health and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2. A bloody mary, extra spicy
“I especially love when they come with pickles, olives, or other fun garnishes. I prefer bloody marys to sweet drinks because the extra sugar in most cocktails gives me a terrible hangover. Also, when a drink is super spicy, it slows down my drinking and encourages me to have a sip of water between each sip of alcohol.” —Abbey Sharp, R.D., Abbey’s Kitchen

3. A glass of pinot noir or champagne
“I rarely pick a mixed drink as the added sugar and calories are just not worth it for me. I like a glass of red wine, preferably a pinot noir as it has a high concentration of antioxidants including polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol. And of course, I appreciate the occasional glass of French champagne because life’s too short not to.” —Denise Julia Garbinski, M.B.A., R.D.N. of Botanical Nutrition Therapy

4. A Johnny Walker Black and Diet Coke
“I’ll get flack for this—many whiskey-lovers make fun of me for mixing the good stuff with Diet Coke, but that’s just my taste preference. I also ask the bartender to use a jigger so I know how much alcohol is mixed in.” —Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes For Every Meal Of The Day

5. A low-calorie version of a cosmopolitan
“It’s raspberry-infused vodka, club soda, and a splash of lime and cranberry juice. Even though fruit juices contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, they also contain a high amount of natural sugar, which can add up in a drink. Just a splash of the cranberry juice adds enough flavor, but keeps the calories in check.” —Dawn Orsaeo, R.D., L.D.N.

6. A Moscow mule with a twist
“My absolutely favorite for the summer is a Moscow mule with ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, and lots of ice, skipping the simple syrup. It’s so refreshing, and when you don’t use simple syrup, it’s only around 80 calories.” —Molly Morgan, R.D., C.D.N., C.S.S.D., owner of Creative Nutrition Solutions

7. A scotch on the rocks
“My favorite is Macallan 12-year aged scotch. I like to avoid sugary mixers like juice, and since scotch is stronger, I sip it slower and one glass can last me the whole evening.” —Rebecca Lewis, in-house R.D. at HelloFresh

8. Silver tequila on the rocks or with soda plus lime juice or an orange slice
“Silver tequila usually has less sugar in it than brown tequila or other brown liquors. I skip the sugary mixers and drink it straight up or with no-calorie club soda and a little flavor from a splash of citrus.” —Sarah Rueven, R.D., owner of Sarah Rueven Nutrition

9. An ice cold beer
“A true Wisconsin native, I’m especially a fan of a nice hoppy craft brew. Not only do I enjoy the flavor complexities a craft beer has to offer, beer gives you the most volume for about the same total of calories and alcohol as wine and spirits, meaning it takes longer to drink and therefore helps moderate total alcohol consumption.” —Emily Brown, R.D.N., L.D., wellness dietitian at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program

10. A toned-down mojito
“I love the mint and lime in a mojito, but I find many places make them too sweet, so I get a sugarless mojito with extra lime. Most of the time, the mint and extra lime are enough flavor for me. If I’m feeling like it needs a little extra sweetness, I’ll add my own sugar or stevia. I end up with a perfect drink every time.” —Dina Garcia, R.D.N., mindful eating coach and founder of Vida Nutrition

11. A glass of sauvignon blanc or a simple marg
“I don’t worry about calories or sugar. I drink my favorite wine of choice—Sauvignon Blanc—or a margarita on the rocks with salt (no mix, just straight tequila, lime, and agave). I know I can drink two beverages, enjoy the taste, and still get up for yoga the next morning!” —Laura Cipullo, R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E., C.E.D.R.D., owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition

Tags:  alcohol beer bloody mary drinks wine

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Source: 11 Low-Calorie Alcoholic Drinks Registered Dietitians Love – Hello HealthyHello Healthy


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The Truth About Alcohol (+ 5 Tips For Smarter Holiday Sips)

Hello Lovely Followers,

As we approach that time where my social diary begins to look a lot less bereft, I’m starting to worry that all my hard work will be for nothing. I’m still trying to weigh less and feel fitter but I do love a good party… or meal …. or evening at the pub!

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111I’m not a huge drinker but I have been know to partake on the odd occasion so I was very interested to read this on the My Fitness Pal blog.

I wonder what other gems I can find…

 


Mixing, mingling and making merry this holiday wouldn’t be the same without alcohol. But for those of us with an agenda to neutralize weight gain, adding alcohol to the equation makes this a tough one to balance. Here’s why: Alcohol is the second most potent source of calories  Partying with alcohol is fun because we like feeling intoxicated, but this intoxication comes with a caloric price tag. One gram of alcohol is 7 calories, which is more than one gram of carbohydrate (4 calories) and protein (4 calories) but less than one gram of fat (9 calories).

We don’t burn extra calories to metabolize alcohol  Not like we do from digesting carbs, fat and protein. This phenomenon, called the “thermic effect of food”, refers to the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Because alcohol is so easy to absorb, it enters our bloodstream without burning any extra calories.

Your liver does the dirty work  Because alcohol is seen as a toxin, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol first (get in line, fat…it’s not your turn!) which means you won’t be burning calories from other sources while that happens. The liver is only able to clear alcohol at a rate of around one ounce liquor per hour, which is why consuming more than this will leave you feeling tipsy.

Alcohol makes your blood sugar drop, making you want to reach for carbs  The liver helps keep our blood sugar steady, but a liver busy at work metabolizing alcohol can’t do this effectively, causing your blood sugar drops and stays low until the alcohol is metabolized. This explains why you crave carbs and wake up the next day with a headache.

Alcohol calories that aren’t burned will be stored as fat  This is true for all extra calories eaten no matter the source, but what makes alcohol calories worse is that they are stored in your liver first. It takes time for the liver to ship out the alcohol-induced fat for proper storage in your fat cells. If the liver doesn’t do this fast enough (or if you drink too much, too often) the fat stays stuck in your liver and around your abdomen giving you what we refer to jovially as a “beer belly.”

This of course doesn’t mean you need to completely dodge all social sips this season. Here are some tips to help prevent you from gaining too much of your holiday cheer:

1. Pour yourself half as much. This will help you limit yourself to one or two drinks per party.

2. Avoid higher calorie mixed drinks like eggnog, margaritas, mudslides, or other sugary mixed drinks–or have one and consider it dessert.

3. Alternate between having alcohol and water to stay well hydrated.

4. Sip slowly and take the time of enjoy your alcoholic beverage.

5. Keep your alcohol budget at or below 200 calories. Pick these lower calorie alcohol alternatives:

  • Red or white wine: 5 ounces | Calories; 125, Carbohydrate: 4g
  • Light beer: 12 ounces | Calories: 100; Carbohydrate: 5g
  • Champagne: 5 ounces | Calories: 100; Carbohydrate: 1g
  • Vodka, whiskey, rum or gin: 1.5 ounces | Calories: 96; Carbohydrate: 0g

How do you keep tabs on your alcohol intake during the holidays?

Tags:  alcohol holidays tips

Trinh Le is a registered dietitian for MyFitnessPal. She holds her master’s in public health, nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Trinh is a proponent of balancing food and exercise for a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys hiking, strength training, yoga, running and fidgeting

 

Source: The Truth About Alcohol (+ 5 Tips For Smarter Holiday Sips) – Hello HealthyHello Healthy